Whether you're hoofing it for fitness or to help the environment, here are the most walker-friendly locales in America and what makes them special, based on our annual survey with the American Podiatric Medical Association and Sperling's Best Places.
1. San Francisco, CA
Why it made our list: The city government devotes 12 agencies to walking issues.
2. Boston, MA
Why it made our list: Improvements such as longer WALK signals and bright, patterned intersections encourage more people to walk.
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3. New York, NY
Why it made our list: Residents log the fewest vehicle miles.
4. Philadelphia, PA
Why it made our list: A high density of schools keeps speed limits low in many neighborhoods, making the streets safer for walkers.
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5. Chicago, IL
Why it made our list: The 18.5-mile Lakefront Path along Lake Michigan is easily accessible and connects a variety of neighborhoods.
6. Washington, DC
Why it made our list: Its extensive public transit system makes it easy to hoof it around the city and its nearby suburbs.
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7. Seattle, WA
Why it made our list: It has the highest number of rail lines converted to trails.
8. Honolulu, HI
Why it made our list: There's a good mix of desirable destinations such as stores and restaurants within walking distance.
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9. Portland, OR
Why it made our list: For more than 10 years, a Pedestrian Advisory Committee made up of residents has worked with City Council on transportation issues.
10. Oakland, CA
Why it made our list: It converted a parking lot into a town square, linking its shopping district to public transit.
11. Minneapolis , MN
Why it made our list: Eight miles of skyway, the largest in the world, connect its downtown to area attractions.
12. San Diego , CA
Why it made our list: Some of the many improvements include new street lights, crosswalks, and curb pop-outs in desirable downtown locations. And a new pedestrian bridge is in the works.
13. Los Angeles , CA
Why it made our list: Once a cement pipe storage yard, the Augustus F. Hawkins Natural Park offers lush vegetation and paths for strolling on 8.5 acres right in the heart of the city.
14. Milwaukee , WI
Why it made our list: The RiverWalk, a 3-mile walkway that winds down the Milwaukee River to Lake Michigan , connects to both downtown destinations and to state parks and trails.
15. Baltimore , MD
Why it made our list: The Heritage Walk, a 3-mile tour of the city, links 20 historic sites and museums just beyond Inner Harbor .
16. Rochester , NY
Why it made our list: The safest of our Top 25 Best Walking Cities due to low crime and pedestrian fatalities.
17. Santa Ana , CA
Why it made our list: The city partnered with the Historical Society to offer 3-hour walking tours of the city's cultural downtown.
18. San Jose , CA
Why it made our list: It has more hiking and walking trails than any of the cities we reviewed.
19. Denver , CO
Why it made our list: A varied and diverse downtown features an outdoor mall for only pedestrian traffic and public transportation on 6 out of 7 days.
20. New Orleans , LA
Why it made our list: It's one of the oldest cities in the United States and walking tours abound through richly historic neighborhoods.
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